Passavant splits bill with District 117 for full-time sports medicine specialist from Springfield Clinic

By Anthony Engle on March 21 at 12:44pm

Jacksonville District 117’s sports program is going regional for at least the next couple of years, and in a different manner than any sort of playoffs.

The District 117 Board voted to approve a full-time representative from the Springfield Clinic, part of a Jacksonville High School Sports Medicine Agreement, defined in the minutes of the March meeting.

Passavant Area Hospital was able to provide representation of a health specialist for certain sports on the high school level. This part-time employee was offered as a community service for no cost to the district. However, a new era of $15 minimum wages and progressive income taxes is causing a visible rift in communities throughout the state of Illinois.

117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek explains a recent conversation he had with Passavant.

“First, I want to thank Passavant Hospital for all the years of service at no cost to the district. Clearly, not many districts get that distinct honor. However, I have been informed that Passavant is moving away from that aspect of medicine and will not be continuing a free part-time service.”

Ptacek says a regional health beacon offered for a part-time sports medicine specialist.

“Springfield Clinic is taking over all the athletic trainer programs in the local area. They offered two options. The first was a part-time specialist for $22,000 to get an athletic trainer at all out varsity home sporting events and travel with football on varsity with help at JV, and freshman home football games.”

There was also an offer from Springfield Clinic for a full-time employee, and Passavant Hospital is now able to continue their service for guaranteeing safety of JHS student athletes.

“There was an option of $42,000 to have a full-time athletic trainer who is there for practices and really to look at concussion protocols for students throughout the week. Passavant tremendously gave me a call and said they would be able to cover half of the cost, so the overall cost for the district in getting the full-time trainer is now only $21,000 for the next two years.”

Ptacek clarifies that this new athletic staff member is not a permanent agreement.

“I just want to make sure that the full-time athletic trainer is being used, during the week, for constructive protocols. With and a lot of larger legal and liability issues, I don’t want that position, for that money, to just be turned into taping ankles and taking care of things that I think can and should be taken care of by parents and, in many cases, the student athletes themselves. So I voiced that because three years from now, if that money is not coming in we might have to go back to a part-time person who is only at the games.”

Resolution of consideration for a Jacksonville High School Sports Medicine Agreement was approved by the Board of Education last night.